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Gaithersburg, MD Social Security Disability Law Blog

With therapy, children with cerebral palsy can speak better

Though cerebral palsy affects each child who has it in different ways, one common symptom is difficulty speaking. The disorder can affect the strength of kids’ core muscles, leading to problems with speech, posture and breathing.

This can be very frustrating for children with cerebral palsy as they age and wish to communicate and express themselves. Speech pathologists can work with cerebral palsy patients to help them adapt to the condition, so that they can speak more clearly.

Electric stimulation allows movement years after paralsysis

A new study may be good news for readers in Frederick who are living with paralysis, or have a loved one who is. Researchers say that electric stimulation of the spinal cord can improve motion in paralyzed limbs, years after the incident that took away their use.

The director of the National Institute on Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, which supported the research, is highly encouraged by the results. He said that it could mean that many paralyzed people, who up to now had been told that further recovery from their injuries is unlikely, could see further progress.

Medical marijuana could soon be available for Maryland disabled

There are many people in Maryland who are living with a debilitating condition that could be eased with medical marijuana. Lawmakers are currently considering legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, though differences on how to do so exist between the state House and Senate.

This is actually the second year that the issue of medical marijuana for vets has been debated in the state legislature. Last year, legislators approved a framework to create a system of regulating the use of marijuana as a prescription drug. Lawmakers had hoped that “academic medical centers” would emerge to provide the drug to patients. But that has not happened so far.

College course simulates disabilities for students

Many people in Maryland who are not disabled themselves know somebody who is. Perhaps they have a friend or relative who is receiving Social Security disability benefits due to a physical, mental or emotional condition that prevents him or her from working.

Though those of us without a disability try to be respectful and accommodating to disabled people, it may not be possible for us to truly understand what it is like to live without perfect function. For that to be possible, we would have to become disabled ourselves.

Common today, ADHD diagnosis was rare in decades past

A diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is not uncommon among Maryland’s children. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that around nine percent of children under 18 have ADHD. It is a mental condition that affects the ability to focus and control your behavior. In addition, many people with ADHD tend to be impulsive and hyperactive.

Many people who are now grown up lived with ADHD as children. But in those days, less was known about this condition than today. A lot of children went undiagnosed in the 1970s and ‘80s.

SSA announces tighter background checks to prevent proxy fraud

Horror stories about people being held prisoner for their Social Security disability benefits or similar payments have made it clear that, sometimes, the money is not going to the proper person. It is going to a criminal who is stealing the needed funds, while posing as the disabled person’s “representative payee.”

Inspired in particular by one shocking case, the Social Security Administration began a pilot program, in which representative payees’ criminal backgrounds could not include convictions for certain crimes. The SSI has declared the pilot a success, and has expanded the policy nationwide, including here in Maryland.

Head, neck injuries can trigger stroke, even in younger people

A head or neck injury suffered at work might lead to even more serious trauma a few weeks later. These sorts of work injuries could cause a stroke, according to a study presented at an international conference on the subject.

And youth is no protection from this frightening possibility. The study suggests that more than 200 people a month suffer a stroke within four weeks of sustaining head or neck trauma.

SSA to speed up processing some veterans' claims

No person who has become disabled due to an injury or illness and can no longer work should have to wait a long time to start getting Social Security disability benefits. This applies to everyone in Maryland. It certainly applies to our state’s military veterans, many of whom sustained disabilities while serving their country overseas.

According to the Baltimore Sun, there are about 450,000 veterans living in Maryland. Around 63,750 receive disability benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Many of them may also qualify for SSD benefits. Unfortunately, like many civilians, disabled veterans face lengthy waits until their application or appeal is decided, due to a long backlog of cases.

Progress slow on bill to improve police training on disabled

The death of a developmentally disabled man at a Maryland movie theater in January 2013 shocked many people in the state. The man asphyxiated at the hands of three Frederick County sheriff’s deputies who were working as mall security. The deputies were trying to remove him from the theater after allegedly catching the man trying to sit through a second viewing of a movie.

Following the incident, advocates for the disabled said that the deputies were not properly trained for dealing with developmentally disabled members of the public. They called for a state law mandating police officers to undergo such training.

1000s of Marine veterans, families sickened by bad water on base

They served for various reasons, such as patriotism or a chance to have a career in the military. But none of the Marines who were stationed at Camp Lejeune in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s enlisted knowing that they would be exposed to dangerous toxins. Now, years later, thousands of retired Marines are learning that their health problems are possibly due to exposure from the water at the base.

Between 1957 and 1987, as many as 1 million Marines and their families lived on base at Camp Lejeune, which is located in North Carolina. In later years, many people who had lived on the base found themselves developing cancers of which they had no family history. They also had a high incidence of having children with birth defects and cancer.

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